Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said Friday that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden should allow searches of his Senate papers in response to a former Senate staffer’s sexual assault allegation.
Mr. Biden said Friday he is reluctant to release his Senate records, which have been donated to the University of Delaware but not public, because he worries they could be fodder against his White House bid.
Mr. Turley, a George Washington University Law School professor, said the former vice president’s objection raises credibility questions. The professor had testified late last year during President Trump’s impeachment hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
“Biden should have no objection to a search of any reference to any complaint housed by anyone at Delaware,” the professor wrote on Twitter. “It is like a witness insisting he is perfectly happy with a search of his farm, but becoming angry when asked if he would allow a search of his house.”
“This is a flashlight search where a witness tells police to look only where he is shining the light. This calls for sunlight, not a flashlight. I found Biden quite credible up to that point. The solution is to allow searches in both sites of any misconduct allegation by anyone.”
Former Senate aide Tara Reade has accused Mr. Biden of penetrating her with his fingers in 1993 when he was a senator.
Mr. Biden denied the allegations in a Friday television interview. Ms. Reade said she filed a complaint about the alleged assault, which could be stored in his Delaware records.
But Mr. Biden insists the papers he donated to Delaware “do not contain personnel files.” He said if Ms. Reade’s complaint exists, it would be at the National Archives.
Mr. Turley wasn’t the only one calling for Mr. Biden to publicly release his senate papers.
Also Friday, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network — the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization — also demanded Mr. Biden allow access to the Delaware materials.
“These allegations deserve a rigorous investigation, and we urge Vice President Biden to release any and all records that may be relevant, including those housed at the University of Delaware,” RAINN said in a statement. “We urge him, his campaign, and former staff to cooperate fully and provide complete transparency.”